All of us know about the natural and spectacular beauty of Iceland ranging from tumbling waterfalls, glaciers, rugged landscapes, lava rocks and mesmerizing Northern lights Iceland. But most of the people don’t have any idea about food in Iceland. Iceland offers not only a feast for your eyes but also very delicious and traditional Icelandic food for your taste buds.
Tasting new food is the best part of Iceland tour. The new flavors and unique foods will open your taste buds to a new set of genuine foods and flavors. You should expect to taste the delicious foods in Iceland.
Food in Iceland is considered as the world healthiest food. Everything in Iceland is pure, natural and cleanest from clear air and water to wild fish and plants without any chemicals. All these things sum up and make perfect ingredients for excellent quality food.
The food in Iceland is not just about taste and flavor, it really tells about the culture and history of Iceland. You will get to know about the culture of Iceland by tasting the traditional Icelandic food.
You can taste many of these famous traditional foods in Iceland while visiting Iceland’s famous destinations. For instance, you can taste many foods on your single day tour to Golden Circle Route or tour to Northern lights Iceland.
Here are the 8 most famous Icelandic foods you should not miss when you visit Iceland.
Skyr is a combination of yogurt and cheese having a thick creamy consistency. Skyr is prepared from skimmed milk and culture of bacteria just like yogurt. Most of the time this delicious creamy dish is served with cream and berry jam. It somehow tastes like Greek yogurt. It is not only tasty it is healthy as well. If you want to eat like locals, Skyr is the best Icelandic food.
Hákarl – fermented shark
Hakarl is mainly a fermented shark, traditional food in Iceland. It consists of a Greenland shark or any other type of sleeper sharks. Traditionally, the meat of shark was buried in the ground for 3 months and then hanged in the air for the next 3 to 4 months for drying up.
Today, the meat is cut and placed in a container for 7-8 weeks for the fermentation process to take place. After fermentation, those pieces hung up of the next 3 to 4 months.
The taste of fermented shark is saltier and it stays inside the throat for long. The fermented shark has a taste like ammonia. Many travelers say it is one of the worst foods that they have tasted ever. I don’t encourage you to eat shark but tasting it will let you know about culture and food in Iceland.
People in Iceland love to eat sheep and lamb. In Iceland, lamb is most readily accessible as compared to beef. The lamb is available either roasted or prepared in a hearty stew. Most of the Icelandic prefer to eat roasted lamb. You can also taste the smoked sheep head.
The sheep in Iceland wander over the hills lacking any boundaries, eat plants and berries with no chemicals and drink clean water from glaciers. The lamb and sheep in Iceland actually marinate themselves in the natural environment with their unrestricted diets.
The lamb is available in different ways throughout Iceland. It is served as stewed with a variety of vegetables or roasted with spicy gravy. In one of the quality restaurant in Reykjavik known as KOL, the lamb is served in a unique way. They served roasted lamb with blueberry, pistachio crumbles, and Tindur cheese.
Pylsur – hot dog
Pylsur is actually a hot dog and is most common in Iceland as fast food. It is not as cheap as in the entire world, it is pretty costly. You can expect a single Pylsur in Iceland to be $7. If you compare it with Sweden, you can buy hot dogs for 50 cents.
One of the most popular and most visited restaurants in Iceland is Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. They are serving hotdogs since 1937. People usually wait for long in long queues for this tasty and delicious hot dog. These are very famous in Iceland and you should try it once when you visit Iceland.
Rúgbrauð - Dark Rye Bread from a Hot Spring
Rúgbrauð is the rye bread actually backed in hot spring. It is a traditional food that Icelandic continues to eat from too many years. Traditionally and till now this rye bread is backed in a hot pot and steamed in unique wooden barrels. These wooden barrels have been buried inside the ground close to hot spring.
The rye bread is crustless and dark brown in color. It has a sweet taste. It is often served with butter, smoked lamb and salmon. It can be sometimes eaten with pickle or cheese. The Icelandic people eat dark rye bread as a side dish with fish, plokkfiskur. It is available in the grocery store in Iceland.
Dried fish – Harðfiskur
While going for many other things to do in Iceland and places to visit in Iceland, try Harðfiskur which is actually dried fish. You can get an idea about its popularity that it is available everywhere in Iceland. No matter you are at a supermarket, souvenir or fish market, you can easily find it.
The Harðfiskur is tasty that anyone tried it once remember its taste for long. It tastes a bit salty. It is not only a great source of omega 3 fatty acids but also contains a large number of vitamins and proteins. It is easily available and it can be kept for long due to its longer shelf life. It is not only tasty but also healthy and lightweight.
Icelandic meat soup – Kjötsúpa
It is best to have a bowl of hot tasty soup in cold weather. Traditionally the meat soup is served at all the restaurants throughout Iceland. It has a very delicious taste of broth prepared from vegetable roots such as potatoes, rutabagas, and carrots with the touch of lamb, Kjötsúpa provides comfort and warmness.
You have heard about many things to do in Iceland and many places to visit in Iceland such as Northern lights Iceland but do you know what is Brennivín? Brennivín has a taste similar to Akvavit.
It is prepared from mashed potatoes, caraway seeds, and fermented grains. It is the traditional Icelandic drink and it must be for all travelers to try it once. If we translate it in English, the name implies the “burning wine”.
With many places to visit in Iceland and things to do in Iceland, Icelandic food is another exploration for travelers. Whenever you plan to see the beauty of Iceland like Northern Lights Iceland, hot geysers and ice caves, never forget to taste all these unique and flavorful meals and dishes. I hope you liked this guide. Share your experience with us in the comments section below.